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About

Education is at the heart of everything we do at the Barnes Foundation.

Board of Trustees

  • Aileen Roberts, Chair

  • Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq., Treasurer

  • The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen, Secretary

  • John J. Aglialoro

  • John R. Alchin

  • Armando I. Bengochea, PhD

  • Sheldon M. Bonovitz, Esq.

  • Pamela D. Bundy

  • Jeffrey A. Honickman

  • Cathy Hughes

  • John H. McFadden, Esq.

  • Joseph Neubauer

  • Christine Poggi, PhD

  • Brenda A. Thompson, PhD

Chair Emeritus

  • Bernard C. Watson, PhD

Emeritus Trustees

  • Stephanie Bell-Rose

  • Bruce S. Gordon

  • Agnes Gund

  • Neil L. Rudenstine, PhD

Honorary Trustees

  • Wallis Annenberg

  • Laura T. Buck

  • Tory Burch

  • Betsy Z. Cohen

  • David Haas

  • Anne F. Hamilton

  • Marguerite Lenfest

  • James J. Maguire

  • William A. Slaughter, Esq.

  • Joan Thalheimer

  • Bruce E. Toll

  • A. Morris Williams, Jr.

Executive Staff

Thomas Collins

Neubauer Family Executive Director and President

An innovative educator and accomplished art historian, administrator, and author, Mr. Collins, a Philadelphia native, has more than 20 years of experience at some of America’s top arts institutions, including the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York; the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore; the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Collins earned his MA in art history from Northwestern University and his BA with honors in art history and the history of religion from Swarthmore College. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Swarthmore College and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Art Museum Curators, and the College Art Association.

Margaret (Peg) Zminda

Executive Vice President, CFO, and COO

Ms. Zminda is responsible for Finance, Facilities, and Information Technology functional areas and has oversight for earned revenue and marketing operations. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BS in accounting from St. Joseph’s University.

Nina Diefenbach

Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement

Ms. Diefenbach leads an innovative, strategic advancement program and is responsible for a $100 million capital campaign to enhance educational programs and community engagement initiatives, support operations, and strengthen the endowment. She oversees the fundraising, membership, and public relations teams, working to maximize and expand the institution’s public profile. She holds an MA in arts management from New York University and a BA from Trinity College.

Will Cary

Chief of Business Strategy and Analytics

Mr. Cary oversees all earned revenue functions, including admissions, ticketing, special events, retail, group sales, food service and catering, as well as the marketing team and organizational analytics. In addition, he plays a leadership role in the Barnes’s internal Culture Action Team (CAT). He holds a BA in art history and economics from Williams College and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute.

Valerie V. Gay, CFP

Deputy Director for Audience Engagement & Chief Experience Officer

Ms. Gay oversees public and community programs and the Guest and Protection Services team. She plays a leading role in growing and sustaining the Barnes’s relationship with audiences in the Philadelphia region and embedding visitor-centered thinking into every aspect of the institution. She earned a bachelor's of music in voice performance from the University of the Arts, and a master's of music in vocal performance and a professional studies certificate from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Sara Geelan, Esq.

Deputy Director, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary

Ms. Geelan oversees all legal matters for the Barnes Foundation, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, as well as contractual obligations and ethical standards. She coordinates governance issues for the Board of Trustees and its committees; is responsible for the risk-management program and insurance portfolio; and has administrative oversight of the human resources area. She holds a JD from Columbia University School of Law and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

Nancy Ireson, PhD

Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator

An art historian by training, with a doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art, Dr. Ireson is a specialist in late 19th- and early 20th-century European art. At the Barnes Foundation, she manages the teams who care for the permanent collection and who devise and deliver special exhibitions, including Curatorial, Conservation, and Registration. The Publications and Design teams are also in her division.

Martha Lucy, PhD

Deputy Director for Research, Interpretation and Education

Dr. Lucy oversees the Barnes Foundation’s research efforts, working with colleagues across departments to produce new knowledge about the permanent collection and the institution’s history. She also leads all educational endeavors—including adult classes, academic programs, pre-K–12 programs, Art Team, docents, and archives. An art historian specializing in 19th-century French art, she holds a PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Sheronda Whitaker, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer

Ms. Whitaker leads the Human Resources department and is responsible for the design and execution of effective strategies to fulfill the Barnes Foundation’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She collaborates with departments across the institution to ensure the Barnes provides an environment that is welcoming, supportive, and inclusive for all staff, volunteers, visitors, and students. She holds a MS from Villanova University in human resource development and a BS from the University of Louisville.